How to Hold a Camera and Other Tips for Taking Accurate Pictures of the Paranormal.
By Virginia Carraway Stark
Have you ever taken a picture and noticed a strange aura around your subject matter? Or perhaps seen something in the background that looked unmistakably (to your eye) like a spirit jetting through a doorway?
These are just a few examples of camera equipment not being used properly. Many people don’t realize that it is incredibly easy to shake or jostle a camera without realizing that your hands are unsteady. If at all possible simply use a tripod. Tripods are available for iphones and androids as well as for digital cameras. If you are holding your camera, hold it with both hands and cradle it in your hand to help provide a stable surface. This not only prevents strange effects that may mistakenly be assumed to be paranormal, it also makes your pictures of a higher quality and easier to see detail. Hold the camera closer to your body rather than at arms length for better pictures or rest your hand against a stable surface like a tree or a wall to help keep things in focus.
If you are using something other than you phone camera you may have to learn about shutter speeds and how they match with focal points on lenses. These can distort the picture if poorly matched and create eerie effects.
Another tip to keep in mind is what filter you use. If you can only buy one filter, buy a polarizing filter. These filters are designed to keep glare down from water and other shiny, reflective surfaces that can cause false halos and make bugs or dust glow like orbs.
Here’s a simple trick: avoid using your flash. Never use your flash outdoors. It is unnecessary and creates false shadows that can make the eye interpret those shadows as faces or forms. Even indoors flashes make things look stark and unreal and can create odd optical illusions that can cause confusion rather than confirmation of the paranormal.
Prevent what looks like motion by not moving your camera rapidly. Moving the camera is a way that professional photographers use to induce the appearance of motion and getting excited and moving the camera to follow something can create the image of a fast moving ‘something’ in the picture. Don’t be fooled, you’re only fooling yourself in thinking you are seeing something extraordinary in your own error.
A responsible way to get to know your equipment is to play around with it. See how it makes it look when you play with the flash, movement, shaking and shutter speed if you are using a camera where you can adjust things like that. Learn what is natural and reproduceable and what is extraordinary before jumping to conclusions that every streak, glare or movement has a paranormal origin. Sometimes a dust mote is just a mote.